Transformative Language Learning
We believe in transformational language learning. Our goal is students positively transformed by their language study—inspired and able to communicate with people from different cultures using their new language, and able to reflect themselves and their own culture in order to better understand others.
Four Key Areas of Transformational Learning
In both our texts and online components, we present a rich offering of cultural content designed to help students “build context.” Thus cultural learning must help learners connect to real people in the target culture, which we achieve in various ways: a focus on regionalism, examinations of cultural assumptions that inform every-day life, and explorations of cultural beliefs that differ from stereotypical beliefs in the USA/Canada. Many activities (both class and online) are also designed to promote intercultural communicative competence, to increase the learner’s awareness when negotiating cultural misunderstanding in all languages.
We affirm the power of personal narratives to teach culture and provide reading and listening practice. Intrinsically more motivating than traditional texts, these stories promote connection with real people. Students do not learn about fictional characters; instead they encounter real native speakers, each with their own idiosyncrasies and personal opinions. Students thus learn content and language in a more ethnographic or anthropological way, with engaging texts as primary sources and not simplified summaries.
We are committed to being a locus between research and praxis. This means staying attentive to recent findings in second language acquisition, and then applying that research to create tasks that are both meaningful and reflective of best practices. We reject the idea that student work is merely practice of grammatical structures—we instead demand that each online activity or in-class task be engaging: intercultural, interpersonal or puzzle/game-like. We also strive to make language and culture learning as fast and efficient as possible, and this implies focusing on content and the “real-world” as well.
Personal transformation takes time. Thus it is crucial that students continue with their language study, and pursue opportunities to connect directly with native speakers, ideally through internships and study-abroad. Our in-class tasks and online activities promote personal relationships among students in your class and constantly encourages both study abroad and immediate connections with people from the target cultures. One or two semesters of study are not enough—a primary goal of any beginning or intermediate language course must be student retention so they continue to build proficiency in their new language, while continuing to be transformed into interculturally-sophisticated communicators.
Partnership With Instructors
Ultimately each instructor is the main source of learning and motivation. Evia Learning partners with you by creating language learning materials that promote transformational language learning so you don’t have to fight with your textbook or spend a great deal of time creating more effective activities and tasks. A ready-made curriculum that promotes student reflection and deep learning will free you up to spend time interacting with students and personalizing your instruction. If you as an instructor (or learner!) are committed to teaching and learning for personal change and transformation, our language-learning materials at Evia Learning will help you get there.